The kitchen is the hub of your home, with every member of the family coming to the kitchen multiple times throughout the day. Because of the amount of time we spend in the kitchen not to mention that we use it to prepare the food we eat, it is very important to keep the kitchen clean and safe. Equally, the presence of food and frequent use can make the kitchen a hotbed for the growth of bacteria and other germs. In this post, we’ll cover 6 of the most essential kitchen hygiene rules that you should be aware of.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve become even more aware of the importance of keeping the kitchen clean and hygienic. We should all follow these essential rules to keep ourselves, our clients, or our beloved ones safe.
6 Kitchen Hygiene Rules You Should Follow:
1. Maintain personal hygiene
The first thing we should do when we enter our kitchen is to wash your hands properly. You may have previously picked up bacteria or viruses from other objects or surfaces that can then be transferred on to food or other objects in the kitchen. By washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water you will get rid of any dirt, bacteria, and other harmful elements. It is highly recommended to use antibacterial soap to wash your hands to be sure to eliminate bacteria.
2. Cleaning important kitchen tools and surfaces
The kitchen must be cleaned thoroughly after cooking so that there are no food remnants lying around which will encourage bacterial growth.
Clean your dishes properly
After each meal, the dishes must be cleaned thoroughly. Fill up the sink with hot water and detergent and submerge the dishes there for some time to get rid of sticky food particles. After scrubbing, rinse them with cold water. The same goes for kitchen utensils.
Keep chopping boards separate
You should have at least two chopping boards in the kitchen: one for cutting vegetables and the other for preparing fish, poultry, and meat to avoid cross-contamination. Chopping boards made from porous materials such as wood should never be used for meat of poultry. After use, chopping boards and knives should be thoroughly cleaned.
Clean the countertops and sink
We prepare food on our countertops so they need to be kept meticulously clean, otherwise, bacteria and other germs can get into your food. After preparing food, you should clean the countertop using anti-bacterial spray. Likewise, you should scrub your sinks daily and fill up the sink with hot water once a week. Add a small amount of bleach to disinfect it thoroughly.
By the way – if you want to take your expertise in hygiene and cleaning to another level, you can study it! For example, you can check this level two food hygiene course for catering.
3. Clean the oven and refrigerator
Your oven should be cleaned after every use with a damp cloth. And periodically it should be cleaned with oven cleaner to get rid of tough stains. If your oven becomes too dirty, make a thick paste of bicarbonate of soda and smear it throughout the oven surface. Leave it overnight and use a solid scourer to clean it in the morning.
Wipe the outer side of the fridge including the handle daily. Once every month you should take out everything from the fridge and clean it thoroughly with warm water and detergent. You can also use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water to clean the inner compartments of the fridge to get rid of the food spills or stains. Another important thing to do is to defrost the ice that builds up in the freezer from time to time. First, let the ice melt by switching off the freezer. Then use soapy warm water to rinse it.
4. Take care of the bin
This may seem like a trivial one, but this is actually one of those kitchen hygiene rules that get neglected. You must have a good bin in the kitchen. Use bin bags so that you can easily get rid of rubbish. Don’t let too much rubbish accumulate inside the bin. You must empty the bins every day and if necessary, multiple times. Otherwise, food leftovers will decompose and allow bacteria to grow.
5. Store food properly
Proper food storage is extremely important. The food in the refrigerator must be covered with cling film or put in well-sealed Tupperware. If you leave the food uncovered, it can allow the growth of bacteria. The idea that hot food shouldn’t be put in the refrigerator is a myth – rather, it is important not to leave food for more than two hours before storing it in the fridge.
Raw food like meat and fish should be placed on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that the juices don’t drip onto other food inside the refrigerator. Also, never store raw food besides other food as it will cause cross-contamination. You shouldn’t keep any leftover food inside the refrigerator for more than a week. Also, check all food for expiry dates and don’t store any expired food items inside the fridge.
6. Professional deep cleaning service
No matter how frequently you clean your kitchen, there are certain areas in the kitchen that are difficult to access. Sometimes, tough stains develop that are difficult to get rid of and you may need to call the professionals for a kitchen deep cleaning. They will clean the ceilings, floor, equipment, hard-to-reach areas, and other corners of the kitchen as well as disinfecting the entire area.
You should do the basics of kitchen cleaning every day. Schedule the days in a month to do a thorough clean. This will avoid the growth of bacteria and the transmission of viruses, keeping you and your family safe and healthy.
Looking for more kitchen-related tips? Read this post about how to set up your kitchen, or this post about the reasons you should renovate your kitchen. And if you have or plan to own a food truck – here’s a post on how to equip your food truck kitchen.